Date: 13 December 2013
The Kauri 2000 Trust is making an urgent plea to everyone enjoying Coromandel forests this summer to do their bit to help stop kauri dieback disease spreading here.
Kauri dieback is killing kauri on Great Barrier Island, and throughout Northland and Auckland. There is no cure, and the disease kills kauri of all ages, from seedlings through to ancient forest giants.
The Coromandel Peninsula has the largest population of kauri outside of Northland. The good news is, so far Coromandel’s kauri forests are still free of kauri dieback disease. However, we need to act now and everyone needs to play their part if we are to keep Coromandel kauri healthy.
The microscopic spores are spread through the movement of soil. Humans are the greatest risk, spreading the disease through dirty, muddy shoes, tramping gear, bike tyres, machinery – anything that comes in contact with soil.
Anyone who has visited kauri forests anywhere in Northland, Auckland or Great Barrier Island is a high risk of bringing kauri dieback here, and the influx of summer visitors increases the risk exponentially.
As a responsible local, be a guardian for our kauri. Whether hosting family or friends, or as an accommodation provider or tourist operator, ask your guests if they have visited infected or at-risk areas, and help them clean their gear
If you have visited kauri forests anywhere in the North Island, remember to clean your gear before and after you enjoy the bush here. In particular, don’t use any footwear, poles, mountain bikes etc on the Coromandel Peninsula that have been used in infected areas unless you’re absolutely sure the gear has been thoroughly cleaned. That also applies to anyone who has landed from Great Barrier Island.
Symptoms of kauri dieback include yellowing leaves, loss of foliage and dead branches
Remember the 3 S’s:
SCRUB your gear – remove all soil
SPRAY with disinfectant
STAY on the track and off kauri roots
It’s also just as vital that locals clean their gear before and after every forest visit, especially people such as pig hunters, trampers or pest control contractors who often visit different blocks. We can’t assume we haven’t got kauri dieback – it might be here but undetected - and therefore we need to act now to avoid spreading it around.
Before and after every forest visit, use hot soapy water to scrub away all traces of soil, then rinse or spray with household disinfectant to kill any remaining spores. Use disinfectant stations as well if these are provided.
Symptoms of kauri dieback include yellowing leaves, loss of foliage, dead branches, and bleeding gum at ground level and up the foot of the tree.
If you do find a kauri that looks infected take a photograph and record the location and contact Jeanie McInnes, Biosecurity Officer - Technical Relations, Waikato Regional Council, +64 7 859 0706 or +64 21 654 094 if it is on private land. If on Department of Conservation land contact Kevin Carter, Conservation Services Ranger, +64 7 867 9241 or +64 21 023 63089.
Conservation Services Ranger
+64 7 867 9241 or +64 21 023 6308